With an increasing tendency of parents going in for alluring high profile names (read brands) rather than schools in the neighbourhood, a debate has ensued in the education circles about the resulting scenario. The huge number of applications as against limited seats at a few elite schools, especially in south Delhi, just proves the point.
Take the case of Himanshu, son of Aneesh and Puja, both MNC executives. Last year, the high-salaried, status-conscious couple applied at just 5-6 premier schools, including Shri Ram (Vasant Vihar) and DPS (RK Puram). The child was not selected at any of these schools and he almost ended up sitting at home, save for a last-minute admission at a lesser-known neighbourhood school.
Namit and Rachna Mishra, residents of Uday Park, chose to apply at Sanskriti for their daughter, taking into consideration weightage for sibling, as her elder brother is already studying there. They also applied at 2-3 other schools but unfortunately, it did not work out and the girl had to sit at home.
The question is, why not send your child to a school nearby rather than make him/her travel a great distance every day? Educationist and manager at St Thomas School, Cynthia Manoharan says, “Long distance travel can mean a lot of problems for the child.”
It is like a cumulative effect. Given Delhi traffic condition, the child will take anywhere between one to 1 ½ hours; he or she will be more tired than his peers; he or she will suffer from less concentration, the list can go on and on … says Cynthia.
Principal Shyama Chona of Delhi Public School RK Puram says, “Definitely the brand name counts. But to what extent? Sending your young one to a far away school is obviously depriving your child a safer and healthier future.”
Many parents are apprehensive about the quality of studies (and also of students) in other schools. But CBSE board results have broken that myth. “Look at the board results record for last few years, you’ll find all toppers from lesser known schools,” said a school principal.
The English topper in CBSE Class X in Delhi last year was a girl from Greenway Modern School in Dilshad Garden.
National Progressive Schools Conference chairman SL Jain says, “A neighbourhood school may not be at par with a renowned South Delhi school, but good students definitely improve standards, as parents will start demanding quality.”